10 Questions For Nicole Philipp, The Global Head Of Strategy Of Caizcoin
Money makes the world go round. If this is true, a functional payment and value transfer system is indispensable for the economy's smooth functioning.
The availability of efficient payment systems is the hallmark of development, progress, and inclusion in any economy. There are increasing levels of partnerships between nations. Accordingly, continuous improvement and evolution of financial technology for better, faster, and cheaper is inevitable. Crypto is, thus far, the peak of technological innovation, disruptive particularly in finance.
Cryptocurrencies have grown from "irrelevance" to reverence in a span of but a few years. In 12 short years, the network has evolved to be a force in finance, enabling a trustless flow of value cheaply and reliably. A network of nodes distributed across the world has seen billions transferred for fractions of what would have been charged in any leading global bank.
The quest for a community-driven crypto network to further improve has seen the introduction of faster, environmentally friendly, and compliant crypto platforms. These launch to solve payments conforming to various religious requirements.
The Caizchain anchors on the distribution, disintermediation, and reliability to present an innovative blockchain-based payment system enabling the transfer of money between people of the Muslim faith and others. Eventually, the project aims to launch from its blockchain. Users will quickly and cheaply transfer money in a platform that fully complies with the Islamic Finance rules.
CAIZ complies with Islamic laws and is native to the Caizcoin blockchain. Using the token, users can shop or contribute to humanitarian causes through Waqf and Zakat, anonymously and reliably with no extra fees. Moreover, they can participate in DeFi.
Today we will have a sit down with Nicole Philipp, the Global Head of Strategy.
Welcome, Nicole Philipp.
1. Less than 15 years and blockchain and crypto has exploded in popularity, gnawing legacy system’s market share with borderless and trustless remittance solutions. How did the idea come to launch an Islamic cryptocurrency?
The idea to Caizcoin surged in 2018 when we were thinking about how to provide financial services that bring the Islamic and Western world together and offer a decentralized financial solution and cryptocurrency that enables fast and cost-efficient international money transfers.
Caiz means licit or lawful and Caizcoin describes a cryptocurrency that aims to provide financial freedom to everyone. Caizcoin adheres to Islamic values through building an innovative blockchain-based financial solution that is compliant with Islamic financial principles.
We put together an international team of Muslims as well as Non- Muslims to define a product that integrates both the modern Western and the Islamic world, namely Caizcoin.
Caizcoin’s culture is based on both Islamic values such as justice, honesty, trust, safety, transparency, fairness, compassion, harmony as well as on modern values like freedom, open-mindedness, acceptance, independence, internationality, innovation, and digitalization.
2. What will Caiz tell that one skeptical person, convinced crypto isn't providing a solution to anything or anyone?
Blockchain technology, which underlies cryptocurrency is indeed not only a solution but has the potential to disrupt a wide variety of transactions, in addition to the traditional payments system.
Cryptocurrencies offer low transaction fees and lower volatility risk. For consumers, cryptocurrencies offer cheaper, safer, and faster peer-to-peer payment options than those offered by traditional money services businesses.
From Caizcoin point of view, cryptocurrency represents the beginning of a new phase of technology-driven markets that have the potential to disrupt conventional market strategies, longstanding business practices, and established regulatory perspectives.
With all to the benefit of consumers and broader macroeconomic efficiency. Cryptocurrencies have the massive potential to allow consumers access to a global payment system—anywhere, anytime—and also with the great advantage to not lose any value due to any exchange rates.
The discussion and therefore the question is no longer one of whether cryptocurrency is providing a solution, but rather how it will evolve and when it will reach maturity – Cryptocurrency will not only be a solution for a short period – it came to stay.
3. Do you see that it is right to launch a new cryptocurrency at a time where there is an intense competition and there is great uncertainty and volatility due to the Corona pandemic?
Yes, definitely. The Corona pandemic does not only result in an economic crisis but certainly also offers a lot of new chances, opportunities, and changes for different markets especially the financial market.
The pandemic situation has been pretty hard for all of us and people are more and more losing confidence in the government and third entities. If we look at the financial system, Cryptocurrencies are one of those groundbreaking potentials as there are no intermediates to manage the system but the blockchain on its own – a decentralized system.
As we can observe, recently a lot of new cryptocurrency players have entered the market – small ones as well as already evolved ones. While the market is still developing and changing, many small cryptocurrencies will probably vanish but those Cryptocurrencies with a strong and very innovative system behind will survive in the end and will consolidate to stable providers in a mature market. Caizcoin has the great potential to be one of the big and stable cryptocurrency systems in the future market due to its innovative blockchain ecosystem.
4. Are we in early stages that will eventually culminate in everyone accessing financial services trustlessly and cheaply?
Yes, definitely. We are not only in the early stages but are already in an evolving stage.
According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey 2020, out of 74 countries, Nigerians with 32 percent were the most likely to say they used or owned cryptocurrency. The second and third highest rates of cryptocurrency use in the survey were recorded in Vietnam (21 percent) and the Philippines (20 percent). Again, remittance payments play a role in the widespread use of cryptocurrency.
In addition, one more world region where many cryptocurrency users are located is Latin America. Peru leads adoption with 16 percent of respondents. Switzerland was the country with the highest adoption rate in Europe together with Greece (11 percent each).
Accordingly, as we observe these developments, we are already in a very exciting stage of a disrupting financial service system and Caizcoin is convinced that crypto has come to stay – globally.
5. Over 2 billion people are in the Middle East, and Maghreb countries could experience blockchain and crypto power. Some already have. Why is it so critical for Islam-focused financial platforms to be compliant with Islamic laws?
Money today is more of a medium of exchange for goods and services that can be used by common people. Most Islamic scholars may propose fiat money for a medium of exchange only. The motives for holding money, which is suitable to Islamic teaching, are the transaction motive and as well precautionary motive.
However, the speculation motive, or trading, is strictly prohibited as this activity can be categorized as hoarding, which is prohibited in Islam countries. In addition, money should be treated as a currency of transaction rather than for gaining profit from speculation activity. This concept would be the basic requirement of the money characteristic from the Islamic perspective.
6. A mix of community, speed, decentralization, compliance, anonymity, and service. What are your drivers? Is this the blockchain the world needs? What makes this currency distinct from other currencies?
Until today there was no blockchain and cryptocurrency that is recognized by Islamic Scholars as compliant with the Islamic finance laws. This hinders people with an Islamic background from participating in these new developments. Caizcoin wants to close this market gap by providing the first blockchain comprising advantages and features which convert it into an Islam compliant decentralized financial solution.
Caizcoin’s own blockchain the Caizchain and its tokens are the first to be fatwa certified. However, Caizcoin is not limited to Muslim Investors but invites anyone who wants to enjoy the advantages of a high-security Blockchain, flexible money withdrawals, and anonymous and immediate international money transactions, to participate in the network.
7. What are some of the challenges people face, especially in Islam countries, whenever they try to use or adopt cryptocurrencies. Do you have a solution to this?
According to Islamic finance rules any Islamic finance investment, acquisitions, and transaction must underlie the Islamic values. One of the most important differences is that it is not permitted to charge any kind of interest and that money should be used especially for social welfare rather than held as an asset, also dealing with illicit matters such as tobacco, pork, or alcohol trading as well as gambling is not allowed. So, any financial solution used by Muslims should satisfy those rules.
Caizcoin will make it easier for Muslims to reconcile the Islamic trade rules with the new technical developments. Caizcoin includes a number of features and applications that make it become a truly Islamic blockchain and Cryptocurrency. Islamic finance needs to follow specific rules and requirements based on that Caizcoin found a solution to cover those with its blockchain technology and the adherent features and services.
8. Crypto and DeFi are now global phenomena, vibrant with over 5,000 unique projects. For a modern, innovative platform conforming with Islamic laws governing finance, how do you balance between welfare and profit?
Caizcoin, as well as other crypto platforms, is profit-oriented as we are talking about the financial sector. But what distinguishes us from other platforms is the importance of values related to the solution. For Caizcoin, the focus is to be relevant and fair to all potential users globally and that is where religion is also playing an important role.
As mentioned before, due to Islamic law, it is not easy for people with Islamic backgrounds to participate in those new developments. Others regardless of their background, don't even have the financial capacities and resources. For that Caizcoin aims to provide an innovative solution for all and to balance between providing a fair system to everybody worldwide and at the same time to act fair for the users best.
As our experience shows, getting positive turnover does not immediately entail following unsustainable practices. Acting in the best interest of the religious community, we at the same time exclude businesses that engage in arm trade, adult industry or alcohol – those which bear poor reputation outside Islam anyway.
Thus, by cutting off on investments which we would consider as highly ambiguous, we instead are trying to focus on values which also bear a universal appeal. In the long term, this will help our community to expand across the world and attract anyone who is interested in a moral and sustainable future.
9. What competitive advantage will the comparison of other cryptocurrencies offer?
Caizcoin counts with a number of innovative features that make it stand out and a unique solution not only for Muslims but for everyone.
First, Caizcoin counts with its fully own blockchain, the first Islam compliant blockchain with absolute security. It is a decentralized blockchain based on the proof-of-stake concept which makes mining redundant, and should not only provide the basis for the Caizcoin but also for other future Islam-compliant cryptocurrencies.
The Caizcoin Ecosystem comprises its own hyper-secure wallet that will guarantee maximum protection of funds and personal data as well as full anonymity for coin transactions. It also comprises an API that enables easy and seamless integration with third-party applications such as banking partners or vendors. And finally, Caizscan, a Caizcoin blockchain explorer which provides maximum transparency and enables the users to view all transactions.
Furthermore, Caizcoin holds several advantages that make it not only an Islam compliant solution but also remarkably interesting for any other investor. Amongst those advantages are:
- There is no minimum holding time, tokens can be withdrawn at any time
- Up to a certain limit, transactions can be made free of charge
- Caizcoin is a Stablecoin meaning its value is backed by precious metals
- Caizcoin’s strong KYC process assures that all partners and participants within the network are licit and Islam compliant
- Caizcoin partners with global NGOs which allow using the cryptocurrency for Wafq, Zakat, and other donations
- Finally, Caizcoin will allow financing of Haddsch Mekka Trips without having to pay any interest fees
10. How do you evaluate the Islamic finance sector and what are the controls that you think are lacking in order to make it perform properly?
Any financial solution used by Muslims should satisfy specific Islamic rules. And while the worldwide financial markets are disrupted by new technologies, and blockchain-based financial models and cryptocurrencies are living a peak as never seen before, the Islamic financial sector is also expected to grow strongly.
According to the Global Islamic Economy Report, in 2019 the Islamic finance sector was worth $2.88 trillion and is expected to grow to $3.69 trillion by 2024. Islamic finance assumes 42% of investments within the Islamic economy.
Also, according to the same report two of the four main demand drivers which will impact the Islamic economy are the large, fast-growing, and young Muslim population as well as the growing digital connectivity. However, as mentioned earlier, so far there was no solution that merges this innovation in decentralized finance into Islamic finance in a fully compliant way, which is why it is time to provide a solution that allows everyone to participate in the modern financial world while being able to comply with the Islamic principles.
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